Another superbly exciting day of Cooper Tires British Formula 3 action at the new Snetterton 300 circuit brought race victories for Lucas Foresti and the Fortec team and Carlin’s Kevin Magnussen, the Dane following up his maiden win of Saturday with another fine victory.
In the Rookie class there was a win apiece for Hitech man Kotaro Sakurai and for T-Sport’s Bart Hylkema. Fortec’s Harry Tincknell was awarded the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend accolade.
Felipe Nasr continues to lead the championship by a handsome margin, but there was no visit to the podium today for the Brazilian ace.
Round 8 report
Fortec Motorsport and Mercedes-Benz swept the board in the second race of the Cooper Tires British Formula 3 Snetterton weekend, Brazilian Lucas Foresti leading home his team-mates Harry Tincknell and Will Buller for a morale-boosting 1-2-3 in Norfolk.
It was Foresti’s second win of the season and, just like at Oulton Park last month, the 19-year-old did not put a wheel wrong all the way from pole position to chequered flag. Lucas made an impeccable start and quickly put distance between himself and the pack to rack up a five-second victory advantage.
“My first win was really special,” said Lucas, “and this one is as well because I couldn’t go quick in qualifying and this is a bonus. It’s really great for the team to score a 1-2-3; it’s impressive and it shows how hard everybody is working.”
A slower getaway by Buller from second on the grid allowed Tincknell, who started from P3, the opportunity to slip alongside the Ulsterman and steal the inside line for turn one, Riches. Thereafter, said Exeter-based championship newcomer Harry, it was a question of managing his tyres and avoiding errors to record his best-yet F3 result. “I made a really good start; I think I have really cracked the starts now. I got alongside Will and took the inside for the first corner. From there on I had to manage my tyres as best I could; I was on an older set compared with Lucas and realistically I wasn’t going to be able to catch him unless he made a mistake. Third at Oulton, second here. Hopefully my first win isn’t too far away.”
Added Buller: “We had a few problems with the clutch yesterday so we had to put a new one in, and it was a bit different so I didn’t get the best of getaways. But third place is good, we’ll take that.”
The opening lap was a drama-filled affair with a mid-grid tangle causing damage to several cars. Jack Harvey and Rookie class runner Bart Hylkema were among those who went off track, with Jazeman Jaafar and Menasheh Idafar limping to the pits with damaged Dallaras. Rupert Svendsen-Cook was another first-lap pit visitor, his Carlin car suffering a fatal misfire despite, or possibly because of, an overnight change of engine.
Pietro Fantin was the leading Volkswagen-powered finisher in fourth, just ahead of Sino Vision Racing’s Hywel Lloyd, who record his best finish of the season so far with fifth. Championship leader Felipe Nasr made a blinding start to pick up three places on the opening lap; sixth was as far as he would rise, however.
Riki Christodoulou claimed seventh for Hitech ahead of Carlin’s Kevin Magnussen, the Dane claiming the two additional points for fastest race lap. T-Sport’s Yann Cunha was ninth to take his first championship points of the season, ahead of Carlos Huertas (who was penalised three seconds for a yellow flag infringement), Double R men Scott Pye – with a fresh Mercedes engine on board after his Saturday race retirement – and Pipo Derani.
Sakurai’s run to Rookie class victory ought to have been a straightforward affair after Hylkema’s early demise but the Japanese Hitech driver was battling a gearbox problem. The overjoyed 16-year-old said from the podium: “Something was stuck in the gearbox from the beginning. It was a really tough race and I had to think about the gearbox the whole time.”
Round 9 report
Kevin Magnussen claimed his maiden Cooper Tires British Formula 3 win on Saturday at Snetterton and followed that up with a carbon-copy victory this afternoon on the new Norfolk circuit. Again it was a safety car period which was key to the Danish Carlin man’s triumph, and again it was championship leader Felipe Nasr who lost out.
Nasr had made an impeccable start from the pole to lead into turn one, Magnussen in line astern. But it all went wrong behind as Will Buller’s Fortec car and the Sino Vision Racing machine of Hywel Lloyd touched and Buller was speared into the barriers and out of the race; Lloyd limped to the pits for repairs.
Buller’s car had to be retrieved to a place of safety and that necessitated a three-lap safety car period. Mindful of his experience of Saturday, leader Nasr backed the field up for the restart in order to gun it down the main straight and break Magnussen’s tow, but it was to no avail.
Just as he did in the first Snetterton race, Kevin popped out of Nasr’s slipstream and passed for the lead into Riches corner. There was worse to come for the championship leader, however. After following his team-mate for eight laps he was forced to the pits with a deflating tyre and then, to add insult to injury, he was handed a drive-through penalty by race stewards who judged him to have transgressed the restart rules. Nasr was left to trail the field after his two stops but consoled himself with a new lap record and the point for fastest lap.
Once Nasr had faded from his mirrors Magnussen was home clear for win number two. “It’s fantastic to come back like this after the start I have had to my season,” said Kevin. “It’s incredible, it feels really good.” Of his move on Nasr, he added: “I took my chance, and it went well.”
Carlos Huertas profited at the restart also, seizing what would become second place from Riki Christodoulou’s grasp. “Good points, but still not the win that I want,” said the Colombian. Christo kept a charging Jazeman Jaafar behind him to claim third, with Pietro Fantin in the second Hitech car placing fifth.
Double R drivers Pipo Derani and Scott Pye edged closer to the thick of the action with their sixth and seventh places. Harry Tincknell, Lucas Foresti and Yann Cunha rounded out the top 10 for Fortec and T-Sport. Nasr continued to 17th, behind Rookie class victor Bart Hylkema, who was gifted the category win when early leader Kotaro Sakurai spun.
British Formula 3 enjoys the headlining support of Cooper Tires and is additionally backed by Sunoco Racing Fuels, Anglo American Oil Company and OAMPS.
Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series
Round 8, Snetterton 15/5/2011
11 laps / 32.66 miles
Provisional results Championship class AMENDED
1 Lucas FORESTI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes 18m 38.889s / 105.07mph
2 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +5.395s
3 William BULLER /GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +7.594s
4 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +7.955s
5 Hywel LLOYD / GBR, Sino Vision Dallara-Mercedes +9.245s
6 Felipe NASR / BRA, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +10.415s
7 Riki CHRISTODOULOU / GBR, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +10.898s
8 Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +11.910s
9 Yann CUNHA / BRA, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen +13.396s etc
10 Carlos HUERTAS / COL, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +14.574s
1 Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 04.682s
Fastest lap Magnussen 1m 40.181s / 106.88mph
Round 9, Snetterton 15/5/2011
23 laps / 68.28 miles
Provisional results Championship class
1 Kevin MAGNUSSEN / DEN, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen 41m 12.422s / 99.42mph
2 Carlos HUERTAS / COL, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +4.737s
3 Riki CHRISTODOULOU / GBR, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +6.913s
4 Jazeman JAAFAR / MAS, Carlin Dallara-Volkswagen +7.188s
5 Pietro FANTIN / BRA, Hitech Dallara-Volkswagen +9.155s
6 Pipo DERANI / BRA, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +14.913s
7 Scott PYE / AUS, Double R Dallara-Mercedes +15.626s
8 Harry TINCKNELL / GBR, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +19.135s
9 Lucas FORESTI / BRA, Fortec Dallara-Mercedes +19.670s
10 Yann CUNHA / BRA, T-Sport Dallara-Volkswagen +24.571s etc
1 Bart HYLKEMA / NED, T-Sport Dallara-Mugen Honda +1m 15.494s
2 Kotaro SAKURAI / JPN, Hitech Dallara-Mugen Honda 22 laps
Fastest lap Felipe NASR / BRA 1m 39.933s / 106.95 mph Rec
Full TSL timesheets http://bit.ly/jA2bym
Provisional championship standings
1 Nasr 114 points; 2= Foresti & Huertas 71; 4 Jaafar 68; 5 Magnussen 57; 6 Fantin 52 etc
1 Hylkema 130; 2 Sakurai 72.
TV schedule Channel 4: 0700 21 May; Motors TV UK 1311 21 May + repeats
Next rounds 18/19 June, Brands Hatch